Tri-State residents struggle to find COVID test as winter weather impacts some sites

Freezing temps shutdown NKY testing site
COVID-19 tests
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 19:00:54-05

FT. MITCHELL, Ky. — A COVID-19 testing drive-thru temporarily closed because of freezing temperatures in Northern Kentucky.

Gravity Diagnostics' Ft. Mitchell site usually opens Monday through Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. However, its staff operates outside and managers saw too much risk in having them work in the cold.

Meanwhile, patients desperate for fast results ran into other obstacles. Mia Mariscal said her toughest test Thursday did not involve swabbing her nose. Hours before then, she woke up with a fever, chills, aches and seemingly nowhere to get a COVID test quickly.

"We [searched] all morning," Mia Mariscal said.

Mariscal's boyfriend, Phoenix Acuff, said they left his house at 8 a.m., searching for a test for hours.

"It was kind of hard, especially to get results quickly," Mariscal said. "That's the hardest part."

Close to their home in Florence, Walgreens Pharmacy had no at-home test kits available. So, the couple drove to Gravity Diagnostics' Florence Mall site. It did not open until noon.

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Just days from seeing a loved one with a weakened immune system, the couple waited 3 hours at Gravity's Covington site. Demand there is so high staff began asking patients waiting in line to pre-register through QR codes. Also, the lab's same-day result promise is on hold. The company said "due to extraordinarily high volume, test results are being delayed by up to 48 hours beyond stated turnaround times."

Still, getting a test brought Acuff some relief.

"It kind of sucks because they're so swamped you have to wait an extra two days for results," he said. "But other than that, yeah (I am relieved)."

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